Foam Rollers are an effective rehabilitation and training tool, available in a variety of sizes, materials and densities. Daily neck exercises in best running pants for men with foam rollers facilitate postural alignment of the neck and relieve pain by focusing on tight knots or bands within the neck muscles.
Some cervical exercises with this material that you can try include stretching, strengthening and stability of the cervix, as well as self-massage and myofascial release.
Causes of Neck Pain
There can be a variety of causes for neck pain, including everyday habits such as looking at a smart phone or computer screen or sitting in a bad position. Looking down and rounding the shoulders forces the neck to flex forward.
Over time, this repetitive motion can cause chronic neck pain. In such cases, the foam roller allows myofascial release of the fascia, the thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds muscles and other body structures.
Note that the foam roller should be a little uncomfortable but not too painful. If you feel significant pain while rolling the foam, or if your neck pain has lasted more than a week or two without improvement, see a physical therapist for a complete evaluation. There may be other more serious causes of neck pain that would require proper diagnosis and medical attention, such as arthritis, bone spurs in the neck, ruptured spinal discs, fractures, scoliosis and whiplash injuries.
Foam Roller Neck Exercises
If your neck pain is in the back, lie on your back and place the foam roller sideways under your neck. Keep your head up and lift your hips off the ground slowly until all your weight is on your neck muscles. You may want to turn your head slowly from side to side so that the roller hits the muscle tissue, not the bone.
Very little actual movement is involved with the neck; rather, the roller is placed under a sensitive or knotted spot and the pressure on that spot gradually increases, remaining there until it is released, but no longer than a minute. To move higher, lift the neck of the roller and put it again just above the previous point.
For the side of your neck, lie on your side and place the roller sideways under your neck. Again, slowly lift your hips until most of your weight is on the side of your neck. Stop if the area hurts too much and only place the weight on the neck that is comfortable for you. Be sure to do this on both sides to maintain your balance.
Rotate your shoulders and upper back
Stiffness or rounding of the shoulders and upper back may radiate to the neck. Place the foam roller on the floor and sit on one end. Lie down so that the roller is under your spine along its length, in a parallel direction. Roll slowly from side to side on the roller while holding an imaginary glass of water in your stomach without spilling it.
Gradually increase your range of motion as you become more comfortable and balanced. Focus on the muscles between your shoulder blades and down to the base of your neck until you find the knots, then extend them. Turning your head in the opposite direction from the movement of your pelvis will allow additional stretching of the neck muscles.